A LUXURY Romsey hotel closed by an anti-crime agency, following an eight-year investigation into money laundering, has now reopened its doors to the public with new owners.

The White Horse Hotel and Brasserie, Market Place, was taken from alleged members of an international laundering group following a probe by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The haul was recovered from three defendants, including a practising barrister who agreed to hand over assets rather than face a 15-day trial.

The orders were a culmination of a complex civil recovery investigation involving Romsey businessman Jonathan Nuttall.

Now Romsey Hospitality Limited has taken over the reigns of the hotel, which opened for business on Friday, November 1.

A spokesperson from the National Crime Agency said: "The hotel is now fully trading and taking room bookings, the restaurant and bar are also open and the feedback from customers has been very complimentary."

They added the hotel had a "phased opening", which saw the bar and restaurant open on October 24 and 25.

This comes after the hotel's opening date was thrown into uncertainty, due to health and safety issues last month.

As previously reported in the Romsey Advertiser, a spokesperson from the NCA said they needed to make sure they met "all the regulations" and that the hotel was "up to scratch" before opening again.

Cllr Nik Daas, who represents Romsey Abbey on the borough council, said: "I am glad to see the pinnacle establishment of the town open under new management and I wish them well for their future business.

"I hope that residents and visitors alike will be able to enjoy it as much as when it was formerly open.

"I will definitely go to the hotel to see they are keeping up the same standards."

He added: "I went to it before it was shutdown and it was a very nice place to stay; I think it had award-winning afternoon tea."

Cllr Janet Burnage, who represents Romsey Cupernham on the borough council, said: "It is great news because it is a key part of Romsey and it has been very popular with people.

"It was a little gem in Romsey because it is so old and unique; it did have that little edge."

The White Horse Hotel has been contacted for comment.

The hotel was shutdown after the NCA uncovered a laundering network that saw hundreds of millions of pounds transferred through more than 100 bank accounts held globally including in the UK, Russia, Hong Kong and Switzerland.

The anti-crime agency took possession of the hotel on September 30 as a result of a “civil recovery investigation which concluded in May 2019”, according to a spokesperson from the NCA.